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Life history and parasites of the invasive mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) along a latitudinal gradient

The eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) is among the most invasive fish worldwide and yet, while very abundant in most Mediterranean countries, it is unable to tolerate the colder winters of northern and central Europe. Understanding the effects of latitude on its life-history traits is essential to predict the potential for its invasion of central Europe in current scenarios of climate change. We studied the variation of life-history traits and parasite load in the eastern mosquitofish along a latitudinal gradient from southern France to southern Spain, sampling mosquitofish populations in eight Mediterranean river mouths ranging 5° in latitude. Southern mosquitofish populations displayed higher catch rates, allocated more energy to reproduction (gonadosomatic index and gonadal weight after accounting for fish size) and had a lower condition (total weight and eviscerated weight after accounting for fish size) than in northern populations. Despite variability among populations, size-at-maturity (L50) significantly varied with latitude and northern individuals matured at smaller size (lower L50). Parasite prevalence ranged from 0.0 to 26.7% but parasite richness was very low; all the parasites identified were larvae of pleurocercoid cestodes belonging to the order Pseudophyllidea. The abundance of mosquitofish parasites decreased with latitude and the presence and number of parasites infecting the mosquitofish had a significant negative effect on fish condition. The significant effects of latitude on the catch rates, life history and parasites of mosquitofish highlight the importance of latitudinal studies of invasive species to understand the interactive mechanisms of climate change and biological invasions

This study was financially supported by the Government of Catalonia (AIRE 2003 and Catalan Government Distinction Award for university research 2004 to EGB) and the Spanish Ministry of Education (REN2003-00477 and CGL2006-11652-C02-01/BOS)

© Biological Invasions, 2009, vol. 11, núm. 10, p. 2265-2277

Springer Verlag

Author: Benejam Vidal, Lluís
Alcaraz Cazorla, Carles
Sasal, Pierre
Simon-Levert, gael
García-Berthou, Emili
Date: 2009
Abstract: The eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) is among the most invasive fish worldwide and yet, while very abundant in most Mediterranean countries, it is unable to tolerate the colder winters of northern and central Europe. Understanding the effects of latitude on its life-history traits is essential to predict the potential for its invasion of central Europe in current scenarios of climate change. We studied the variation of life-history traits and parasite load in the eastern mosquitofish along a latitudinal gradient from southern France to southern Spain, sampling mosquitofish populations in eight Mediterranean river mouths ranging 5° in latitude. Southern mosquitofish populations displayed higher catch rates, allocated more energy to reproduction (gonadosomatic index and gonadal weight after accounting for fish size) and had a lower condition (total weight and eviscerated weight after accounting for fish size) than in northern populations. Despite variability among populations, size-at-maturity (L50) significantly varied with latitude and northern individuals matured at smaller size (lower L50). Parasite prevalence ranged from 0.0 to 26.7% but parasite richness was very low; all the parasites identified were larvae of pleurocercoid cestodes belonging to the order Pseudophyllidea. The abundance of mosquitofish parasites decreased with latitude and the presence and number of parasites infecting the mosquitofish had a significant negative effect on fish condition. The significant effects of latitude on the catch rates, life history and parasites of mosquitofish highlight the importance of latitudinal studies of invasive species to understand the interactive mechanisms of climate change and biological invasions
This study was financially supported by the Government of Catalonia (AIRE 2003 and Catalan Government Distinction Award for university research 2004 to EGB) and the Spanish Ministry of Education (REN2003-00477 and CGL2006-11652-C02-01/BOS)
Format: application/pdf
ISSN: 1387-3547 (versió paper)
1573-1464 (versió electrònica)
Document access: http://hdl.handle.net/10256/12413
Language: eng
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Collection: MICYT/PN 2003-2006/REN2003-00477
MICYT/PN 2006-2009/CGL2006-11652-C02-01/BOS
Reproducció digital del document publicat a: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10530-008-9413-0
Articles publicats (D-CCAA)
Is part of: © Biological Invasions, 2009, vol. 11, núm. 10, p. 2265-2277
Rights: Tots els drets reservats
Subject: Peixos d’aigua dolça
Freshwater fishes
Gambusia holbrooki
Eastern mosquitofish
Invasions biològiques
Biological invasions
Title: Life history and parasites of the invasive mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) along a latitudinal gradient
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Repository: DUGiDocs

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